Newcastle United briefing: Injury concerns add up for Rafa Benitez, raised voices in dressing room

Rafa Benitez doesn't often lose his cool.

Monday, 6th November 2017, 10:51 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 4:10 pm
Eddie Howe and Rafa Benitez

But Newcastle United's manager was angry after Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth, and not just the officials for disallowing a good goal from Dwight Gayle.

The defeat followed a loss to Burnley by the same scoreline five days earlier.

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And Newcastle, as high as sixth in the Premier League table last month, are now 11th in the Premier League.

Here's your daily briefing:

Raised voices

Benitez held a dressing room inquest into the Bournemouth game, which was decided by an injury-time header from Steve Cook.

Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez

Asked if he raised his voice, United's manager said: “Yes, because you have to say what you think.

“But my main priority is to make sure that the players understand what we have to do in the future.

“They (the players) are not very happy, obviously. That’s very common when you lose a game.”

Meanwhile, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe gave his verdict on Newcastle – and Benitez.

Jamaal Lascelles

Read his post-match reaction here.

Injury concern

Benitez also lost two players to injury against Bournemouth.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles was forced off with an ankle problem, while Christian Atsu was substituted after "feeling something".

Dwight Gayle and Mohamed Diame

"Jamaal, will have his ankle (assessed), with Atsu, he felt something, but it’s too early to tell," said Benitez, who lost influential midfielder Mikel Merino to a back problem last week.

Atsu could be forced to withdraw from Ghana's squad for next week's World Cup qualifier against Egypt.

Two up top

Dwight Gayle was recalled to the starting XI for the Bournemouth game.

And the striker, playing alongside Joselu, didn't take long to make an impact, though his goal was chalked off, wrongly, for offside.

Benitez spoke about Gayle's performance after the match.

Matt Ritchie

"He was training well. (I was) trying to find different ways to approach the game and attack," said Benitez.

"In the end, we lost. But you have to say they were working hard."

Clinical

Matt Ritchie, signed from Bournemouth last year, struck the post against his former club.

Ritchie also forced a good save from Asmir Begovic, his former Portsmouth team-mate.

"It would be wrong to say we haven’t been clinical enough," said Ritchie.

"Each to their own – everyone will have their own opinions – but my opinion is that, yes, it would be nice if when you create a chance you score a goal, but it doesn’t always work like that."

Read the full interview here.

And finally...

Newcastle's Adam Armstrong, on loan at Bolton Wanderers, has spoken about the goal that dropped Sunderland to bottom place in the Championship.

Adam Armstrong
Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez
Jamaal Lascelles
Dwight Gayle and Mohamed Diame
Matt Ritchie
Adam Armstrong